Kotoba – Word

[Created by Me] The Kotoba Molecule

A discussion my English class had during this past week had brought up the topic of how morphemes were part of words and helped one determine the meanings of different words if one knew the morphemes that made up said words. I found this very similar to the concept of combining kanji to create new words that build upon the meanings of the constituent kanji. For example, the Japanese word for “word” is 「言葉」which is the kanji for “say” 「言」 combined with the kanji for “leaf” 「葉」. In this situation, the word leaf will refer to the paper that something one says is written down on. By writing down what someone says, we create a word. This is not unlike how we use morphemes in English to create words. For example, the word “biochemistry” would mean “transmutation of life” when we combine the meanings of its constituent morphemes, “bio,” meaning “life”, and “chem,” meaning “transmutation”. I could get even deeper into this topic from the kanji side of things if I start discussing about radicals that make up a kanji, but that is a completely different topic reserved for another time.


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